The title a little bit strange, isn’t it? At the end of this article, you will understand the full meaning of the title. However, before I proceed, let’s explain briefly what cryptocurrency is all about for those who may not understand the term.
To explain cryptocurrency in the most straightforward form; it is a virtual currency that allows limited entries in a database no one can change without fulfilling specific conditions.
Over the years, several attempts was made to invent the digital money but all failed until 2009 Satoshi Nakamoto announced that he had created a peer to peer electronic cash system- BITCOIN
Bitcoin is an open network that enables a new type of payment method and a completely digital form of money. It is the first decentralized peer-to-peer payment network that is powered by its users with no central authority or intermediaries.
From a user perspective, Bitcoin is perhaps best described as cash for the Internet, but Bitcoin can also be seen as the most prominent triple entry bookkeeping system in existence.
Bitcoin is seen and called by several names, digital cash, e-cash, virtual currency, international payment network, the internet money and so on. Bitcoin is revolutionary; it has changed and still changing the way people think, see and use money.
Without any doubt, Bitcoin is a global phenomenon; the beauty of Bitcoin is, Satoshi Nakamoto found a way to create a decentralized digital cash system. This act has stirred trouble waters; it is still a mystery to a lot of people while the banks and government are not finding it funny.
The US Senator, Thomas Carper stated that “irtual currencies, perhaps most notably Bitcoin, have captured the imagination of some, struck fear among others, and confused the heck out of the rest of us.“
“In the next few years, we are going to see national governments take large steps towards instituting a cashless society where people transact using centralized digital currencies. Simultaneously, the decentralized cryptocurrencies that some even view as harder money will see increased use from all sectors.” Caleb Chen London Trust Media
The success of Santoshi’s creation has led to so many altcoins (any coin outside Bitcoin is called alternate coin) hundreds of altcoins has sprung up into the crypto world such as Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin cash, Ark, NEO, IOTA, Dash, Cardano, Monero, just to name a few.
Digital Coin exchange such as Binance, Bittrex, Coinex, Kucoin, etc. also came to make the virtual currency more accessible to everyone.
So, what does WhatsApp has to do with Digital Coin Exchange?
Social media has help business owners access to a broader audience; it has made marketing more accessible and cheaper compared to the traditional or conventional way of advertising.
Nigerians have devised a way of creating their own WhatsApp escrow groups; bring the digital currency closer to the grassroots. It has been an uphill task for some Nigerians to get their hands on the virtual currency which has made many people welcome the idea. How did it start?
No one can pinpoint how it all started, but presently there are more than 50 WhatsApp groups all trading cryptocurrencies.
Using WhatsApp as a platform for digital coin currency exchange has a lot of flaws, and frankly, it is riskier than any other means of exchange because everyone has no option but to trust the escrows.
How it works
A person or a group of persons create an escrow group or a digital market where sellers and buyers meet to exchange their virtual currencies for Naira.
Once a seller gets a buyer, the buy funds the escrow, when the escrow confirms the payment, the seller transfers the digital coin to the buyer’s wallet, and when the buyer receives the coin, he/she instruct the escrow to pay the seller; very simple.
As risky as it may sound people successfully transacts millions of naira every day on these groups. Likewise, some people have also fallen prey into the hands of lousy escrows.
- Easy access to buyers and sellers
- Quick payment: unlike the digital coin exchangers; you get your money in Naira straight up.
- Cheap escrow fee
- Flexible transaction: there is no limit to the number of coins one can buy or sell.
- Fake alert: some buyers may send fake alerts to the unsuspecting escrows which may mislead the seller to send coins to the buyer.
- Escrow may leave the group as soon as he/she gets the money.
- It is baseless
How to locate a WhatsApp group
Unfortunately, there is no fast rule in finding a group; you have to be invited to join before you can gain access to this group.
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